Man to face charges for carrying fertilized wagyu eggs into China


The Japan Times

Dec 5, 2018


The agriculture ministry will pursue criminal charges against a man who tried to take the fertilized eggs of wagyu Japanese beef cattle into China, it was learned Tuesday.


“We’re taking procedures to file a criminal complaint” against the person, believed to be a Japanese national, in a bid to prevent similar cases and strengthen the management of wagyu cattle, said agriculture minister Takamori Yoshikawa.


Wagyu marbled beef is popular among both Japanese and foreign consumers.


The ministry plans to refer the man to the Osaka Prefectural Police on suspicion that he violated the law on domestic animal infectious diseases control.


According to ministry officials, the man left a port in Osaka Prefecture for Shanghai in July, carrying hundreds of fertilized wagyu eggs in a container. The eggs did not pass Chinese customs.


After he returned home, the man claimed that an acquaintance had asked him to transport the eggs and that he did not know the practice was illegal.


This is the first case in the last decade in which the transport of fertilized wagyu eggs out of Japan has been detected.


Japan bans the export of fertilized and unfertilized wagyu eggs and semen under the animal infectious diseases control law. In practice, however, it is not very difficult to smuggle wagyu eggs or semen abroad, critics say.


Yoshikawa suggested the latest case...